Book Review of ‘Resist’ by Tom Palmer

As the brutal Second World War stretches on with no end in sight, everyday life for people in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands is perilous and full of hardship. There is very little to eat and they face the constant threat of arrest adn enslavement.

After the murder of her beloved uncle and the capture of her brother by the Germans, Edda is determined to do anything she can to help the resistance fight back.

But how much risk is one teenage girl willing to take?

The image shows a photograph of the front cover of 'Resist' by Tom Palmer.  In the background is a canal in Amsterdam.

The setting for this latest historical novel by Tom Palmer is the village of Velp, which is near to Arnhem in The Netherlands. It is 1943 and Velp is occupied by the Nazis. The villagers are hungry and scared. As they wait for liberation, their German occupiers steal their food and abduct men to work in German factories. The people of Velp know that it is now only a matter of time before the Allies arrive, but with with hardships increasing every day, their ability to resist is all that they have left.

Loosely on the childhood of Audrey Hepburn, ‘Resist’ is a poignant tale that highlights the courage and compassion of the Dutch Reistance movement during the Second World War. 15 year old Edda has already faced the loss of her uncle, one older brother is in hiding, and another brother lives in fear of being sent to Germany. Yet Edda wants to do her bit, risking her own life to distribute illegal newsletters.

I was delighted to receive a copy of ‘Resist’ a week before my trip to The Netherlands. I took the book with me to Amsterdam and, although written for children and younger teenagers, it certainly held it’s own as a historical novel. Palmer’s keenly-researched narrative ensures that it stands up as a historical novel of the highest standard, whilst his succinct language to conveys a character-driven empathatic tale.

With my teacher’s head on, I’d say that this novel is most suited to readers of 10 to 13 years old. Personally, I’d very much like to introduce my Key Stage 3 pupils to this novel along with poetry from the Second World War and extracts from The Diary of Anne Frank. This novel has been written for Barrington Stoke, which means that it’s in a dyslexia-friendly format and is accessible to less confident readers.

Thank you to NetGalley UK, Tom Palmer and Barrington Stoke for this ARC in return for my honest review.

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